PRINCETON — A man is facing multiple charges after allegedly stealing from women he wooed while employed at a large Princeton retail store.
Jason W. Porter is charged with fraud, fraudulent schemes and identity theft after complaints by two women that he opened credit card accounts in their names without their knowledge, and ran up thousands of dollars in credit on other accounts, according to a criminal complaint filed by Senior Trooper D.B. Whited, with the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment.
Porter was in Mercer County Magistrate Court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing that allows his case to be bound over to the grand jury.
Both victims said they met Porter when he was employed at Lowe’s on Oakvale Road in Princeton. The women made their initial complaint to law According to a criminal complaint filed by Whited, the first victim met Porter while shopping at Lowe’s around July 2018. She said the two became acquainted, and she would later assist him with financial needs.
The victim said she later learned a Lowe’s credit card was opened in her name, and that Porter used the card for six transactions totaling $381.53, Whited stated in court documents. She later found 13 unauthorized purchases on her Discovery credit account that listed Jason Porter and Porter’s Projects as the purchaser. These transactions totaled $7,636.93.
Whited said the second victim met Porter at Lowe’s in 2016, “at which time the accused followed her to the parking lot and asked to go on a date.”
She, too, became acquaintances with Porter, Whited said, and the two “would frequently go places together.”
The second victim stated “she later noticed numerous unauthorized charges on her accounts and received statements in the mail from accounts she did not open,” Whited said in the complaint.
According to court documents, the accounts included a Citibank credit card with 20 purchases totaling more than $4,000; a Lowe’s credit card with a balance of more than $4,000; six unauthorized purchases on a Lowe’s business account totaling more than $275; 19 unauthorized purchases on the victim’s Sam’s Club business account totaling more than $2,000; 25 unauthorized purchases on a Visa account totaling more than $800; 15 unauthorized purchases on a bank account totaling more than $1,500; and 80 unauthorized transactions on another bank account totaling more than $6,000.
Whited said the fraudulent purchases for the first victim totaled $8,018.46, while the fraudulent purchases for the second victim totaled $19,623.86.
During a later interview with Porter, Whited said he gave a recorded statement “during which he admitted to making transactions on the accounts” of both victims without their knowledge.
Whited said video footage was also obtained from Lowe’s that showed Porter making the fraudulent transactions.
While making several purchases on the victims’ accounts, Whited said Porter would use his name, his business name, his email account and his Paypal account, which includes “Mooch” in the username.
— Contact Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline. com